Creating a Surface from Point Clouds (removing Objects above the Ground)

When you want to bring in a Point Cloud into Civil3D the first thing you need to do is

  • Open the point cloud data in RECAP 360

If you need to delete any part of the point cloud you can do it in here. I would delete more of the areas that aren’t required in the scan rather than the items that are above the ground. 

The items that are above the ground are what we are going to have a look at and see how to do it from Civil3D once the point cloud is in the drawing.

Once you have got the area you require, save the point cloud. It will then save as an RCP file extension. 

  • Now go and Open Civil3D

Don’t go into the Toolspace, click on the INSERT tab on the ribbon and go to the Point Cloud Panel.

Click on the ATTACH icon, this will allow you to add the RCP file you created from RECAP 360 into the drawing.

PointCloudRibbon Attach

Once you have click on this icon you will only get an option to attach an RCP or an RCS file, which is what you saved in RECAP 360.

Make the insertion point 0,0,0 and click OK. Your Point Cloud will then be added to the drawing.

Click on the point Cloud in the drawing and the ribbon in Civil3D will change.

Then click on the Create Surface from Point Cloud icon.


Give the Surface a Name and set the Surface Style you want to be displayed when the surface is created.

Then click on the Point Cloud Selection – This is where it will tell you how many points you are adding into the drawing.

Then click on the Non-Ground Point Filtering (this is where you are going to be able to remove the items in the Point Cloud that are above the ground and not required Automatically)

Make sure you click on the Kriging Interpolation for this happen.


Click on Create Surface and then the surface will start being created. (it will be created in the background and you will be notified when the surface is finished)

When it is in the Drawing ZOOM Extents to see the full size of the point cloud.

Select the Surface that was created and view it in the object viewer and see that you have a pretty good surface.